The Dublin Coffee and Tea Festival this weekend was host to a number of National Competitions, including the Avonmore Irish Latte Art Competition. With the seriously enviable prize of a La Marzocco coffee machine going to the winner, baristas from all over the country were competing to show off their finest rosettes and ferns.
The thirteen competitors had to produce six cups in their 15-minute presentations: two ‘freepour’ designs, two macchiatos, and two ‘signature’ drinks, which usually combined a mixture of free pouring and etching. These were assessed by a panel of judges who looked at taste, technical skills, and of course, visual appeal.
Taking place at the back of the hall, where a pair of immaculate coffee machines were installed (also to be used for the Home Barista Championships, and Cupping Competition), the competitors were surrounded by judges on all sides, but a large screen behind showed a feed from a video camera on the contestants.
A short interview delved into the technical side of the drinks, providing fascinating insight into the amazing creative process that goes into such a simple-seeming result, and no doubt revealed lots of tips and tricks to the many baristas in the audience.
Saturday’s six finalists (Marek Suchovsky, Magda Nedbalka, Daniel Horbat, Luis Alvarez, Darina Homolova, Seivijus Matiejunas) produced some incredible designs, especially for the signature drink.
Going way beyond what you’d normally see on your average mocha or latte, the finalists produced complex flower patterns, clowns, beaches, parrots…even a Lord of the Rings-inspired Nazgûl.
The winner of the competition will be announced later this evening.
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